The new artists did not come to play this week.
14. ZAYN – Better
ZAYN is back with Better – a song co-written by Lucky Daye. It’s a subtle return but one that suits ZAYN’s velvety voice perfectly. He’s struggled to find his lane so far but this may be it.
13. Wave Racer – Higher
Wave Racer has been in the studio with Danny L. Harle and it seems to have returned some of his most exciting work. Higher is euphoric, skating pop track full of sugary vocals and delectable sounds.
12. Carlie Hanson – Ego (Feat. iann dior)
Carlie Hanson’s recent material has been deeply personal but she’s switched it up on this one. Lyrically, it’s a middle finger to authority, pointed specifically at the police, and it’s matched by a gritty, unrelenting instrumental.
11. Jessie Reyez – NO ONE’S IN THE ROOM
Jessie Reyez has released the deluxe edition of her album Before Love Came To Kill Us and it’s led by this moment. In true Reyez fashion, it’s a dark, damning moment but the chorus is beautiful and weightless.
10. Kylie – Magic
Magic, the latest, is the stickiest of the two Disco singles so far, giving us tight pop melodies that seep into your brain immediately. The keys may sound like they were borrowed from Katy Perry’s Chained To The Rhythm but Kylie is a far more compelling host than Perry sliding over the instrumental with silky vocals.
9. Isaac Dunbar – Miss America
Isaac Dunbar is back with his most political track yet. Miss America is a soaring, powerful ballad that imagines the future while condemning the past.
8. Travis Scott – FRANCHISE (Feat. Young Thug & M.I.A.)
Travis Scott has begun the UTOPIA chapter with a dark, glitchy moment. FRANCHISE is one of the more hard-hitting tunes he’s rolled out, cracking the speakers with distorted beats. Thug is great, like he is on every Scott collab, but M.I.A. steals the moment with a woozy verse full of oddities.
7. CXLOE – Heavy
CXLOE is releasing her debut EP Heavy, Pt 1 and this is the title track. Heavy is a haunting pop tune with a chorus that shakes the speakers with its pounding beat.
6. Mike Sabath – Good Energy
Mike Sabath has written for everyone from Lizzo to Little Mix but now he’s taking his own moment. Good Energy is his debut single and it’s a feel-good moment. The song glides with everything from the silky vocals to the optimistic instrumental hitting just right.
5. Bree Runway – Little Nokia
The hype around Bree Runway is finally building and she’s capitalising on it with some great moments. Little Nokia is an aggressive, industrial cut buoyed by a perfect hook. The music video is, predictably, great too.
4. Baby Queen – Pretty Girl Lie
Baby Queen has had an incredible run this year, rolling out four near-perfect songs packed full of charisma, angst and energy. This latest one is a boisterous, loud dance tune. It pulsates like every great dancefloor filler but it’s also covered in reverb taking it into the muddier pockets of pop where songs like Sky Ferreira’s Everything Is Embarrassing lie.
3. Tems – Free Mind
Nigerian artist Tems is yet to have a misfire. She’s just released her debut EP For Broken Ears and while all of it is excellent, Free Mind stands out. Written and produced by Tems, she creates a solitary space to find inner-peace.
2. Mustafa – Air Forces
Mustafa calls the style of Air Forces “inner-city folk music”. You can hear that too. It has the narrative-based lyricism of folk while offering an unrelenting rawness. The instrumental was built around a Sudanese tribal chant paying homage to his heritage. It was also co-produced by Jamie xx, Frank Dukes and Simon Hessman who bring a moody, affecting backdrop to the table.
1. Maude Latour – BLOCK YOUR NUMBER
The Lorde fans among us are going to eat up this new one by New Yorker Maude Latour. BLOCK YOUR NUMBER is a pulsating, immediate cut – the type that makes your BPM jump up immediately. There’s something beyond special about Latour.
If you dig these songs, you’re going to love our Top Tunes playlist on Spotify:
And, if you’re after more pace, check out our After Dark playlist focussing on the best electronic and dance moments: